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If you are homeless or are being threatened with homelessness (if you are being asked to leave your current accommodation within 28 days) you should seek advice from our Housing Needs service as soon as possible. It is better if you can advise us in person by calling 01733 864064. Telephones are also available at the customer service centre Bayard Place, Peterborough. If required an appointment will be made for you to be interviewed by one of our officers. You need to bring with you all of the relevant documents, this makes it much easier for us to assess how you can be assisted.

Documents needed

If you are offered an appointment you will be asked for evidence of your homelessness. This could be a letter from the person(s) you have been staying with, a possession order, a notice to quit etc. If you are not able to obtain proof we may make contact with the person(s) who have asked you to leave. If you are not already on the housing register, we will ask you for details and documents relating to your family household, address etc.

The interview

One of our officers will discuss your housing situation and the possible options available to you. They will want to know details such as, why are you being asked to leave your current address; do you have anywhere else you can live?  They will try and assist you with any benefits or arrears issues you have, give you landlord/tenant advice, negotiate with your landlord and look into how you can access alternative accommodation if necessary.

The officer who interviews you will become your caseworker and will do everything they can to try and prevent you becoming homeless where possible.  They will assess you under the Homelessness Act 2002 and make a decision on whether we have a duty to offer temporary accommodation and/or permanent housing. When you approach us as homeless one of our officers will assess your application under the Homeless Act 2002. The Homelessness Act sets out guidelines about who may be eligible for assistance. Our officer has to make a decision using the information that you give them during the homelessness interview.

Five steps of assessment

The five steps below are a simplified outline of a very in depth process of assessment.

Are you eligible for assistance?

(the same criteria is used as for the Eligibility for the Housing register)

Are you in priority need?

  • 16 or 17 years old
  • Pregnant women
  • A person with dependant children
  • Homeless due to emergency such as fire, flood or other disaster
  • Vulnerable due to old age, mental/physical disability
  • Some people who have left care or have spent time in care
  • Vulnerable due to a custodial sentence
  • Vulnerable due to time spent in the Armed Forces
  • Fleeing violence

Are you intentionally homeless?

One of our officers will look at whether you are homeless due to your own actions, they will look at :

  • What accommodation have you left?
  • Did you lose the accommodation due to something you did?
  • Was the accommodation settled?
  • Was the accommodation suitable?

Have you got a local connection to Peterborough?

  • Lived in Peterborough for 6 out of the last 12 months
  • Lived in Peterborough for 3 out of the last 5 years
  • Close family relatives in Peterborough
  • Employment
  • Risk of violence if referred back to area which you hold a local connection with
  • No local connection to any other area of the UK

Once this assessment is complete your caseworker will advise you how we can help (you will be notified of this decision in writing). If at any point of your homelessness application, you disagree with any decision your caseworker makes, you have the right to request a review of that decision.

Rough Sleepers

We currently have a team who work with rough sleepers in the city. The aim of this team is to break the cycle of habitual rough sleeping and encourage service users to engage with various support agencies to get them off the street and into sustainable accommodation.

If you are aware of someone sleeping rough please notify us using the rough sleeper referral form.

Severe Weather Emergency Provision (SWEP)

Good practice guidance from the Department for Communities & Local government recommends that local authorities has emergency provisions in place to prevent loss of life of rough sleepers in severe weather conditions.

We work with local charities to ensure that shelter is available to all known rough sleepers in the city when it is forecast that the overnight temperature will be zero celsius or below for three consecutive nights.